Eggplants have a mild flavor and meaty texture and are great sources of flavonoids and polyphenols, which are phytonutrients that support heart health and have anti-cancer properties.
This version eliminates the heavy cheeses and frying in traditional eggplant Parmesan and adds herbs and tomato, breadcrumbs, and a bit of Parmigiano-Reggiano for a healthier but deliciously rich and hearty veggie dish.
- 3 medium eggplants, sliced into ¼-inch slices lengthwise
- Olive oil as needed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
- 28-ounce can of plum or crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 cups ricotta
- ¼ cup of fresh basil, chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pepper to taste
- ¼ cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs (optional)
- Place all ricotta filling ingredients into a mixing bowl or food processor, and mix until evenly combined. Reserve for later use.
- Heat oven to 450 degrees. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Place in a single layer on two or more baking sheets. Bake the eggplant until tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
- Once the eggplant is cool, make the rollatini by taking a tablespoon of the ricotta mixture, placing it on the skinnier end of the eggplant, and rolling it up. Continue until all of the slices and ricotta mixture are used, and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add garlic and oregano to the saucepan, and saute for 30 seconds.
- Add tomatoes and their juices, breaking up whole tomatoes. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, add the vinegar and basil, and season with kosher salt.
- Spoon a small amount of tomato sauce into a 9-by-9 or 10-by-5-inch baking pan, and then add a thin scattering of the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
- Next add your eggplant rollatini in the pan so they’re touching like lumber logs. Top with more marinara sauce and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake until the eggplant mixture is bubbly and the center is hot, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest for five minutes before serving.
Nutrition facts (per serving)
300 calories; 11 g fat; 600 mg sodium; 34 g carbs; 11 g dietary fiber; 13 g sugar; 19 g protein
Customize this recipe for your goals
- Stay active: Add 1 - 1 ½ cups of chopped spinach to the ricotta mixture to increase fiber, quercetin, and vitamins A and C to support your immune system and stabilize energy.
- Destress: Add 1 cup of sauteed mushrooms to the tomato sauce. Mushrooms are a good source of L-theanine, an amino acid that may support mental focus and better sleep.
- Maximize performance: If you’re looking to improve overall body composition and physical performance, consider adding ground turkey or grass-fed beef to the tomato sauce for additional protein and B12 to support metabolic recovery, muscular endurance, and power output.
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About the AuthorMore Content by Michael Ferguson